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Seoul American's M.J. Haynes races upfield with the ball against American School In Japan defender Jo Tsusaka during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0.

Seoul American's M.J. Haynes races upfield with the ball against American School In Japan defender Jo Tsusaka during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0. (David Meuse/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Seoul American's M.J. Haynes races upfield with the ball against American School In Japan defender Jo Tsusaka during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0.

Seoul American's M.J. Haynes races upfield with the ball against American School In Japan defender Jo Tsusaka during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0. (David Meuse/Special to Stars and Stripes)

American School In Japan running back Yoshiki Takahashi bulls his way forward for yardage against Seoul American during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0.

American School In Japan running back Yoshiki Takahashi bulls his way forward for yardage against Seoul American during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0. (Claire Ancheta/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Seoul American's Levi Johnston looks for running room against American School In Japan defender Jake Noddin during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0.

Seoul American's Levi Johnston looks for running room against American School In Japan defender Jake Noddin during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0. (Claire Ancheta/Special to Stars and Stripes)

American School In Japan quarterback Jack Ambrosino runs the ball around right end against Seoul American during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0.

American School In Japan quarterback Jack Ambrosino runs the ball around right end against Seoul American during Saturday's game. The Mustangs blanked the Falcons 35-0. (Claire Ancheta/Special to Stars and Stripes)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea – Coe Laughlin and Jack Ambrosino ensured that American School In Japan’s first football trip to Korea would be a victorious one.

Laughlin ran for a touchdown and passed for another and Ambrosino threw for two scores as the Mustangs opened their quest for their first Far East Division I title by blanking Seoul American 35-0 on Saturday at Sims Field on Yongsan South Post.

“The kids are pretty excited right now,” coach John Seevers said as his players celebrated behind him. “It’s going to be a happy trip home.”

With the victory, the Mustangs improved to 3-0 on the season and have outscored their three foes 126-0. ASIJ also avenged its 34-26 loss to the Falcons at Mustang Valley last Sept. 11.

Despite the one-sided outcome, Seevers felt his Mustangs went up against a “very good football team” in Seoul American.

“They were a little banged up, a little short on people,” he said. “I would love to play them again when they’re healthy.”

It was the first visit by the Mustangs to Yongsan Garrison, U.S. Forces Korea’s headquarters post in downtown Seoul. The Mustangs players and coaches spent Friday night roughing it in the Walker Center, a mobility barracks, and Saturday in the wrestling room at the high school.

Despite the Spartan surroundings, Seoul American and its coach Shawen Smith proved to be “good hosts,” Seevers said. “It was a good experience for us, our first trip to Korea, and they made us feel welcome.”

Ambrosino went 9-for-15 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Laughlin had 63 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and caught three passes for 39 yards and a score. Andrew Howe ran for 77 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts. Sho Hatakeyama had six catches for 116 yards and a TD.

Defensively, Laughlin had six tackles, including two sacks and five tackles for losses. Hatakeyama and Jo Tsusaka each intercepted passes for ASIJ.

“We had a lot of outstanding performances,” Seevers said.

Smith said his Falcons did show some improvement over their previous two games, a 48-6 loss at Kadena and an 8-6 defeat at Daegu.

“The offensive line protected the quarterback well,” Smith said. “We saw a lot of improvement. I’m excited for the future. The guys fought hard, we had some opportunities, it didn’t quite come together for us.”

Next up for each team is a pair of divisional games. The Falcons host Kubasaki on Oct. 8, while the Mustangs next entertain Nile C. Kinnick on Saturday.


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